Yes – you heard it here. I believe that by having morning routines, you can reduce your feeling of stress. While I have no hard numbers to prove this (an no, I won’t be running and experiments either), I do have experience in helping and guiding individuals and families achieve a more stress-free life.
In my past life as a teacher, it didn’t take long to identify the families that had it all together and the families that were pretty much flying by the seat of their pants. I often wondered what was causing this: Was someone getting distracted in the morning and getting ready for school was forgotten? Did someone sleep through the alarm (again)? Were there arguments going on about who should do what?
Truthfully, it really doesn’t matter what the cause is. What matters is that by establishing a routine, you are establishing a schedule that is consistent. Kids thrive on consistency (although they are very resilient) and truthfully, so do adults. Here are 3 key concepts in helping you create a morning routine:
- Your Tasks – what is it that has to get done every morning and how long does each task take? This includes tasks specifically for you and tasks for your family as well. If you take a look at everything you do, each morning, you may be surprised at how many things there are to get done.
- Ordering Your Tasks – although I’d love to be able to address emails first thing, I know that if I start with that I’ll eventually run out of time before my task is done AND I know I’ll loose track of time. By looking at all of your tasks, you can start to categorize them and order them sequentially what will work for you. This may take a bit of exploring, trying, and evaluating what really works for you.
- Being Consistent – this is a huge part of running a stress-free morning! Once you find what works, stick with the routine. There’s no point in spending time identifying your tasks and ordering them and ensuring it’s working IF you don’t follow through each and every day.
- 5:30 Wake up. Don’t cringe – I choose to do this.
- 5:45 Make and eat breakfast with my husband. We chose to eat breakfast together (no kids) as a treat to ourselves.
- 6:15 hubby off to work. Read the newspaper and have my coffee (ahhh…just me time – so peaceful and quiet).
- 6:30 shower and get ready for the day.
- 7:00 ensure kids are up
- 7:00 head downstairs to start making breakfast for the kids
- 7:30 kids eat breakfast and kitchen cleaned up
- 8:15 take kids to school (although this will be changing as my son can now drive)
- 8:45 head to office (which my home office is upstairs)
- 9:00 start my work day.
You may have noticed that there isn’t anything about making lunches. We choose to make lunches the night before so that our morning isn’t so jam packed. It’s what works for my family and may or may not work for yours. Just as we have a ‘routine’ for our morning, we also have a routine for the evening. If you would like to know more about the evening routine, just ask and I’d love to share it with you.
Many people ask, “Do you follow that routine 365 days of the year?” Absolutely not! I believe in taking time off to rejuvenate and relax. I know that I would be burned out trying to keep that schedule – which is why I love the summer months, Christmas holidays, etc. However, when school starts up again, you can bet that our family is back into routine and enjoying stress-free mornings!
**Image used for this post is courtesy FreeDigitalPhotos.net